A social web sampler for social change

Using the social web for social change can be — dare we say it — like a box of chocolates. There are lots of choices, and they’re all tasty, but you probably shouldn’t eat them all.

How do you figure out what online services, tactics and approaches make sense for your nonprofit, social good project or activism?

Join us at Philly NetSquared’s Social Web Sampler to share tastes of the different options out there. We plan to have 15 small group discussions — five simultaneous discussions x three 20-minute time slots. (Sessions 1-5 for 20 minutes; then sessions 6-10 for 20 minutes; then sessions 11-15 for 20 minutes.)

What are the topics?  Well, here’s what has been offered so far (in no particular order):

  • Desktop tools to help manage the social web flood, led by Warren Allen.  There are many social media platforms out there on the Web: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and more on the horizon. Also, some organizations have many people who use those sites on behalf of the organization. What a mess!!! In this discussion we will get hands-on with a couple of great tools that can help you manage the situation and improve your organization’s social Web presence.
  • Email Marketing & Social Media, led by Crystal Gouldey.  How social media ties in with email marketing to build a larger audience for nonprofits.
  • Improving your Organization’s Website for Better User Experience, led by Michael Tedeschi. One of the biggest issues with growing web technology is keeping your organization’s website up-to-date and streamlined for better user experiences. Join this discussion to learn about some best practices about user interface design, information architecture, and web design to present your information clearly and easily to your target audiences.
  • Mobile Site or App for your Org?, led by Nate Gasser.  Mobile internet use is growing rapidly and estimates say it could overtake desktop use as early as 2014.  Your organization can communicate with mobile users through social media like Facebook, or existing apps like Foursquare, but does it make sense for your organization to launch its own mobile website?  How about a native iPhone or Android app?  Let’s discuss the options and share ideas and experiences with sites and apps.
  • Legal issues with business adoption of social media applications, led by Frank Taney.  Non-profit institutions and other businesses stand to gain substantial benefits from harnessing the power of social media applications.  However, there are legal and operational risks inherent in indiscriminate use of these applications.  I would discuss those risks as well as potential methods to avoid or at least mitigate those risks.
  • Tools for audio podcasting, led by “Podcast Steve” Lubetkin.  A few cool tools you can use for audio podcasting and how they work.
  • Making Social Media Part of Your Regular WorkDay, led by Gloria Bell.  The sheer volume of information streaming in from social media can be overwhelming.  Add finding time to digest it and be an active participant in the conversations and it feels easier to just not do it or, worst yet, to do it with half an effort.  We will discuss tips, tricks and tools you can use to incorporate the stream of information into your regular work day without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Timebanking, led by Jim Wurster.  A TimeBank seeks to reweave a local community through an extended, volunteer-based ‘circle of giving.’  By sharing the skills, experience and needs of our community, we empower both ourselves and the communities in which we live.  I’ve helped develop our TimeBank in Media, PA and can share lessons learned and help think about how it might work in your community.
  • Web and media strategies to maximize your reach, led by Rob Kall.  I’ll briefly present an overview of building a “platform” for you or your org, then how to tap the power of the web and media to maximize your reach and effective use of the resources available, using case examples.  The overview will include blogging, facebook, google alerts, twitter, youtube, cross-posting to alternative media, email, listserves, print, and more.  My background– I founded and built opednews.com, ranked by technorati as one of the top 100 blogs in the world, overall. I consult on the use of the web and media for non-profits, corporations and authors.
  • Multi-channel Social Media Marketing, led by Ralph Medley.  Using many different marketing channels  as part of the marketing strategy to get the word out, to ensure that the “Word Of Mouth” is happening and that vital buzz is generated as people share the latest news with their groups and networks.
  • Utilizing Mobile for Better User Experiences, led by Michael Tedeschi.  As the market share of smartphone users continues to grow (over 40% of American cell phone users have them), not taking advantage of mobile applications and mobile-friendly websites can lead to lost viewers. By branching out to this market and making use of current best practices for mobile web, non-profits organizations can expand their presence to their wider audience. This discussion will talk about user experience and interface design for mobile web, the current technology, and how to best use it.
  • Tools for video podcasting, led by “Podcast Steve” Lubetkin. A few cool tools you can use for video podcasting.
  • Engineering viral video, led by Ryan Draving.  Can you engineer viral video success for your organization?  Ryan Draving of Philly Marketing Labs has helped a client achieve over 1,000,000 channel views pro-bono with a $0 budget and 700 total video uploads.  He will share fun examples of bigger recent viral successes from organizations with tiny video budgets, and lead a small group discussion.
  • Using WordPress to Build a Web Site, led by Jim Wurster.  Depending on who participates, this could be a general, quick discussion on getting a WP site up and running quickly; and/or a quick review of how to update a WP site; and/or a discussion of some plugins that can be used for social networking.
Like our previous Social Web Samplers, this will be a highly interactive gathering with lots of shared knowledge, networking and excitement. Refreshments (including chocolate!) will be available.

NOTE: Because of the small-group format, we will NOT be streaming or recording this event.

Thanks to the American Friends Service Committee for sponsorship.

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